In the past twenty years, everything has become more intelligent – from genius computers and self-driving cars, to phones that can control your whole household full of appliances. Sadly, it’s not all positive, and it’s clear that scams and fraudsters have also become more intelligent. Here are some common telephone scams and how to avoid them.
There is a big divide in the generations when it comes to answering unknown numbers. The socially awkward millennials among us will see a number we don’t recognise and find ourselves searching to find out “who is this number registered to”, before we even consider answering it. However, older generations are likely to be used to not knowing who is at the other end of the line before answering it, and as such, they might find themselves more likely to get scammed.
People of authority
A really common scam prays on our trust of people in authority, with the scammer pretending to be a police officer or someone from your bank. These tend to be very brazen and tell you that you have been a victim of fraud, and as such, they will need to take some details from you in order to deal with the issue. These scammers are relying on you being so concerned about this potential security issue that you’ll hand over your personal details easily, and from this, they will be able to access your real bank account and take your money.
A missed call
Another common scam involves you receiving a missed call, which you then, naturally, try to call back. However, this is a disguised premium rate number, and by calling it back, you are charged an extortionate amount of money unwillingly.
So many of us will have received a call from someone wanting to talk about the accident you had recently – despite it being unlikely that you were actually involved in an accident. This scam is quite clever as it has a few layers. If the person at the other end of the call really does have grounds for a claim, the scammer is able to take their details and pursue a claim in their name, with their details, and pocket the compensation that is awarded. However, They may also just be intending to steal your details, sell them on to someone else, or commit identity fraud. Either way, you don’t want to be passing your details on to these people.
These are just a few really common, but very convincing scams that you might find yourself the victim of if you’re not aware. Although it can seem quite overwhelming and even a little scary, as long as you are aware of common scams and keep a healthy level of scepticism about you, you can protect yourself from scams.
Common telephone scams and how to avoid them is a feature post